Maintenance Matters

May 2019 Issue

Tire Retreads: Strong, Cheaper

The airline industry long ago recognized that retreaded tires are a substantial cost savings over new tires. The same can be said for GA ops.

Aircraft tires are highly engineered and are remarkably strong for their size. They often go from 0 MPH to 80 or more MPH in an instant without distorting enough to come off of the rim, plus they have to hold pressure at these high speeds. If the airplane is a little cockeyed on landing, the tires sustain tremendous side loads, far greater than ever expected of an auto tire. The tires have to be balanced to eliminate wobble, which can be quite pronounced at landing speeds and can transfer vibration to the airframe, creating shaky rollouts. There's plenty of engineering involved. The tires are designed by computer for different loads and speeds, and the tread design is optimized for landing on the different surfaces we see in our operations.

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